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Janelle Monáe Dedicates Grammy Noms to 'Trans Brothers and Sisters'

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe has dedicated her nominations at the Grammy Awards to her "trans brothers and sisters."

“My trans brother and sisters, they do it every day. And they are shunned from these sorts of events. So this one is for them,” Monáe told out Variety reporter Marc Malkin at the Fem The Future Brunch in West Hollywood, Calif., which was cohosted by Monáe and Instagram.

Monáe, who came out as pansexual in 2018, received two nominations from the Recording Academy this year. The first is her to paean to labia for “Pynk.” And her singularly innovative Dirty Computer earned a nod in the Album of the Year category.

When Monáe received her nominations, the singer shouted out to underrepresented and under-recognized artists. "Being a young Black queer woman in America, there was something I had to say and there was a group of people that I wanted to celebrate, and I’m happy to be representing them," said Monáe, who also starred in last year's Hidden Figures.

"I hope they feel seen; I hope they feel heard; I hope they feel loved, and I hope they feel celebrated. This is for you!” she said. 

Monáe reiterated the importance of having LGBTQ people and people of color at the Grammy Awards to Variety.  "For years, I have watched these shows and I have not seen that representation,” she said. “The fact that Dirty Computer is an album that is about me and also about a community of marginalized voices, the fact that that got nominated, that means the world to me.”

Additionally, Monáe discussed how important it was for her to be an out artist — even when there were those who cautioned her against it.

“My goal has never been to fit into any type of category. And when you color outside the lines, and then you say, ‘Hey, also, I’m a queer black woman,’ some people can be a little afraid of that,” Monáe said. “And what that means and how do you market that and all those things. But it wasn’t about that to me. [It’s about] walking in your truth.”

Root for Monáe at the Grammy Awards this Sunday on CBS.

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